- As Faculty members caught in double dipping, ULFA declares vote of no confidence in UL administration
By. Dearest Sammie
The University of Liberia’s chances of reopening on June 27, 2022 appear slim, as the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) has reportedly announced a vote of no confidence in the administration, while some faculty members and staff personnel are caught in a double dipping situation.
In a news conference, the University of Liberia Administration stated that it felt it was important to call the media in order to provide information and clarity to the Liberian people about recent events involving the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) and the UL Administration.
Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, the University’s President, expressed concern at ULFA’s decision to vote no confidence in the administration of the country’s top institution of higher learning. ULFA chose to take a non-compliance stance by issuing a vote of no confidence in the UL administration after concluding at its General Assembly that the UL administration was not working in the best interests of its members.
Although the UL Administration arranged a meeting between the MFDP and the leadership of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA), at which time the MFDP clarified the issue of double dipping of employees, President Nelson said it is unfortunate that the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) reportedly passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership and administration at its called General Assembly on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. He, on the other hand, indicated that they had not seen or received an official resolution from the just finished assembly, and that they had only gotten the information through the press and public.
“Unfortunately, the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) reportedly passed a vote of no confidence in our leadership and administration at its called General Assembly on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, on the grounds that we took and implemented a direct mandate from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to take action against some ULFA members allegedly involved in “double-dipping.” We did not see or receive an official resolution from the recently finished assembly, and instead relied on information obtained through the press and public,” he said.
The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFPD), brought to the attention of the University of Liberia administration that several full-time faculty members of the University of Liberia are also fully employed with other government ministries and agencies, according to the President of the University.
“Double-dipping (having two full-time government jobs) within government employment, according to the GoL/MFDP, hinders the government’s ongoing pay reform efforts and also violates Section 9.10 of the Code of Conduct.
“Public Officials and Employees of the Government shall not, while receiving or being paid salaries by the government, also receive or be paid salaries by any other public office unless it is established that such additional employment is in the public interest [e.g. teaching at public educational institutions]
As a result, the president stated that the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has indicated that all full-time employees of other central government agencies will eventually be transferred to part-time status at public educational institutions.
In order to ensure a smooth reopening of school on schedule (June 27, 2022) following the previous postponement, the UL Administration said it wrote a letter of appeal to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, requesting that the matter be reconsidered and given more thought.
Dr. Nelson stated that the request from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning affected all employees at the UL, not just faculty; that a forensic analysis of the UL payroll revealed that a total of seventy-four (74) employees (62 faculty and 12 administrative staff) were in that category; and that those employees whose salaries were transitioned to a part-time status for the month of May 2022 have since been reinstated; and that those employees whose salaries were transitioned to a part-time More crucially, their incomes will not be affected while the talks are ongoing.
He does, however, reiterate the UL administration’s commitment to conducting the institution’s operations in a fair and unbiased manner, emphasizing that no employee, whether in the academic or administrative areas, will be treated unfairly.
“We conducted a press conference here on June 2, 2022, where we announced, among other things, that classes would resume on June 27, 2022. As a result, we’re using this medium today to reiterate our commitment to this announcement, and to assure you that all is being done in accordance with the continuing refurbishment, supply provision, and other factors in order to start classes on June 27th as planned ” he said
Dr. Nelson urged all members of our faculty, both full-time and part-time, as well as our student body, administration, and support staff, to be ready for the beginning of classes on June 27, 2022, as well as the approaching entrance and placement examinations on June 25, 2022.
“To guarantee the smooth operation of the University of Liberia, we will continue to participate in communication with the government, our academics, staff, and students. We recognize that there will be obstacles, but we must all work together to overcome them and create progress. We will continue to work to ensure that every Liberian has access to a high-quality higher education “He comes to a conclusion.